PHOTOS | 9th Annual Big Hat Luncheon

Big colorful hats and encouraging words and music ruled the day at the 9th Annual Big Hat Luncheon on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at the Minneapolis Marriott West, 9960 Wayzata, MN.

Produced and presented by It’s Your Affair Events Company, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Twin Cities Rise organization (, the event included lunch, live music from the Sons of Levi Gospel Singers, a vignette by Aqueelah, vendor tables and guest speakers De’Vonna Pittman, Juanita Moss, Tyrus Hayes and Beverly Hart.

Each speaker shared their personal stories with the intent to inspire, motivate, encourage and heal. Several Minnesota educators were honored as well, including Abdul Wright, the 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

James L. Stroud, Jr. welcomes reader comments to

All photos by James L. Stroud, Jr.